Physical World Map 2004-04-01

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The Nation’s Report Card (National Assessment of Educational Progress) has more unsettling news: it reported this week that in 2010, fewer than one-third of U.S. students performed at or above the “proficient” level in Geography. That means, of course, that more than SEVEN out of 10 students do not demonstrate competency in Geography.

David P. Driscoll, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, commented on Geography as an academic discipline:

Geography is not just about maps. It is a rich and varied discipline that, now more than ever, is vital to understanding the connections between our global economy, environment, and diverse cultures.” (Emphases mine.)

In other words, students need to know much more about the subject. So in the spirit of DIY, below are five resources to get you started on improving your own Geography knowledge:
1) The Geography and Map Reading Room of the Library of Congress. Under “Digital Collections,”
*click “Online Map Collections.” Here you can browse by Geographic Location Index.
*check out “Places in the News.”
2) The US Department of State’s “Background Notes” page provides encyclopedia-style quick reference on countries, including maps and information on geography, history, and economy.
3) The CIA World Factbook: another reference site featuring quick facts, maps, and world flags.
4) National Atlas of the United States: find out more about where you live by making your own map (with a variety of layering options) at the Map Maker tool. Also check out the Printable Maps, Dynamic Maps, and articles.

5) National Geographic magazine is also a fantastic learning resource. A quick web search will turn up the website for you.